Three weeks ago, the Ohio General Assembly postponed a final solution for the growing crisis surrounding the dangerous expansion to the EdChoice Voucher Program. Legislators agreed to tackle the issue prior to April 1st.
Tremendous mobilization has arisen from public school districts and their supporters to present the case to protect public schools from private school voucher programs. Today (Thursday, Feb. 20) marks the last day for public comments during the HB 9 conference committee hearings on vouchers. Van Wert County public school superintendents will travel to Columbus to advocate for the protection of our local schools from the threat of private voucher deductions. We have also asked students to wear “Red for Ed” to demonstrate they stand with public schools?
Supporting our public schools does not mean you are against a parent’s choice to send their child to a private school. It means that you do not support public financing for this personal decision. We believe that public school districts have a responsibility to use local tax dollars for the education and development of children in those school buildings. That mission is threatened by statewide voucher programs that seek to deplete local tax revenue for “scholarships” to private schools.
If legislators want to continue educational voucher programs in Ohio then the state budget should include resources for that expansion rather than shift the burden to local taxpayers who steadfastly endorse our levies.
James S. Lautzenheiser, 8th Grade American History teacher
Crestview Middle School